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Architects to redefine UAE’s leisure landscape

 

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Abu Dhabi / United Arab Emirates

Gulf Related, in partnership with leading international architectural firm, ElkusManfredi Architects, has begun implementation of the key design concepts for Al Maryah Central — embracing novel architectural ideas and promising to redefine the UAE’s retail and leisure landscape.
Scheduled for completion in 2018, Al Maryah Central is part of an unparalleled 3.1 million square foot retail and entertainment offer with over 100,000 square foot of green, open spaces. Al Maryah Central will showcase the first international Macy’s department store, and first Bloomingdale’s department store in Abu Dhabi, and will also feature more than 300 brands, in addition to 65 dining options.
Departing from the classic big-box mall designs, Gulf Related and ElkusManfredi have master planned and designed a vibrant community defined by a variety of unique elements, including walkways and retail thoroughfares, and large open spaces to create an engaging, organic destination.
The design blends the outdoors and indoors and puts emphasis on the urban fabric of the surrounding city. Both exterior and interior sections face an urban retail setting, with an emphasis on walkability and pedestrian access. Visitors can enjoy outdoor promenades or access the indoors through a network of air-conditioned walkways connecting Al Maryah Central with The Galleria and other surrounding buildings. Al Maryah Central embraces the urban planning principle of ‘placemaking’, which seeks to build public spaces that encourage well-being and strengthen the community.
“Instead of a singular town square, we conceived multiple meaningful public spaces each of an appropriate scale, each with a personality – from a playful rooftop children’s lawn to a sports-themed action park to a meandering dining promenade,” said Anthony Fioravanti, Vice President Design and Planning at Related Companies, who led design efforts. “This ‘linked’ public space environment supports interest and discovery – like walking through a great neighbourhood”
Kenneth A. Himmel, President and CEO of Related Urban, and Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related, said, “We have a long track-record in placemaking and deep commitment to great design and at Al Maryah Central we went to great lengths to focus on the details and the customer experience. People in the UAE are looking for more than just great shopping – they want a 360 degree experience that provides entertainment, dining and family time.”

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